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Seattle Real Estate

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We are halfway through the year and the Seattle real estate market is still the talk of the nation. Inventory is still low and prices are still high throughout King County. The real estate market in Madison Park & Washington Park is still strong compared to the first half of 2016. The median cost for a single-family home as jumped from $1,430,000 (2016) to $1,800,000 (2017) and the lowest price has gone up from $656,000 to $885,000. The average list price has increased from $1,628,767 to $1,810,310, as well as the sold price that saw a climb from $1,662,492 to $1,818,759. There were 2 fewer sales these last 6 months, but all sold in the same time frame of about 35 days. There are currently 22 active single-family homes in the Madison Park & Washington Park neighborhood and 11 pending.

Condominium in the area are also rising in price. The median price for a condo has gone up from $545,000 to $622,000 and the lowest has increased from $255,000 to $310,000. The average sold price for a condo is now $787,200, last year’s price was a bit lower at $722,814. There is currently 3 active condominium listing and 2 pending.

 *see below

Just like most of Seattle, Madison Park and Washington Park continue to climb in price. Last May there were 6 sales in the neighborhoods combined and the median price for a single-family home was $1,367,500. This past May the median price for a home has gone up to $1,922,500! The average list price in the area has jumped from $1,621,250 to $1,873,000 in just one month! There are currently 13 single-family homes active in the two neighborhoods. The highest active listing price is $12,850,000 and the lowest is $700,000. 

                 *see below

There were 3 condo sales last month, which is 3 less than last May (2016). The average sold price for a condo has made a tremendous jump from $575,492 to $919,000. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, there are currently two condos active and 4 pending. 

Contact your local real estate agent for their expertise in the Madison Park & Washington Park neighborhoods!

The photos above:

Extraordinarily private & expansive 120+ ft lakefront estate with level lawn, lush grounds, swimming pool, hot tub, & dock. Open concept William Bain designed home with second story added during extensive remodel. All main rooms look onto the stunning setting. Designed for indoor-outdoor enjoyment, rooms open to grounds through the many glass doors. Paneled living room, sandstone fireplaces, Carrarra marble kitchen, family room, glorious master suite! Choice location near shops, restaurants & downtown!

5 bedrooms & 4.25 bathrooms – 6,020 sq ft. 

Available for $12,850,000 

By Melissa Stoker, Save Madison Valley (syndicated from Madison Park Times)

This June, Velmeir Properties, developer of the City People’s site, hired an arborist to prepare a report on the trees that cover the eastern hillside where they want to build.  The report, which is publicly available on the city of Seattle’s website, reads like a cursory response to one question:

“What will happen if we build a very big building here?”

Not surprisingly, the answer was (briefly), all the trees will die.

Save Madison Valley hired Steinbrueck Urban Strategies’ urban ecologist Matthew Patterson to assess the site and prepare a preliminary analysis (his report is available on the city’s website, as well as ours, www.savemadisonvalley.org).

Patterson’s analysis was significantly more in-depth as to what the hillside and trees provide: snags (a rarity in an urban forest), shade cover, nesting sites, flowers for pollinators, sequestering of carbon dioxide, and the absorption of thousands of gallons of rainwater annually.

In a valley like ours, which used to be a riverbed, intercepting and absorbing water (which concrete, for all its great qualities, does not do) is important.

Most significantly, however, Patterson also found trees that met or nearly met exceptional criteria and might constitute an exceptional <i>grove</i> of trees (important designations the city uses).

Patterson explained that the developer’s analysis had designated all the significant trees as “hazards” with the rationale that developing the property as planned would destroy their roots and kill them. The net result looks like an attempt to game the system by converting potentially exceptional trees, which would need to be protected or paid for, into things that need to be removed.

Patterson’s evaluation also looked at the developer’s proposal for replacing the trees once they are removed. The plan to “re-green” our site is woefully inadequate at best, flat out impossible at worst.

Because the full report is available to anyone interested, we won’t go into great detail here, but the plan includes, for example, trees in planters that can’t accommodate the root system of a tree. Trees on paper that in reality would remain shrubs.  

We experienced a similar obfuscating of information around the calculation of the allowable height for the proposed building.

Seattle, a city of slopes and hills, has a number of ways to calculate allowable height, in order to respond best to the topography of any given site.  Meng Strazzara, the architect on the project, didn’t disclose the method they used, didn’t provide a legible topographic map to check their calculations, ignored the city’s request for a legible copy, and declined our request for a legible copy.

Save Madison Valley eventually found the original surveyor, who graciously provided a clear, digital copy (which we submitted to the city and is also now on their website).  

After some work, our consultant, Steinbrueck Urban Strategies’ architect Peter Steinbrueck ,was able to deduce the likely method used.  The measurements appear to be taken from two “dog ear” corners in the higher flat area of the site up on Madison, excluding entirely the steep eastern slope that drops 30 feet.

This dubious approach, while it is advantageous to the developer, is highly questionable as it ignores (or, rather, works around) the unique topography of the site.

Last month we all read in this periodical the great news: the traffic report submitted by the developer asserts that over a thousand new vehicle will be added to Madison daily, but there will be no significant delays to traffic as a result.  We will again be looking to check this data and see if it remains as rosy a picture after an independent professional takes a closer look.

As we look to grow and develop Madison Valley, as all of the city of Seattle is growing, we want to partner with people who are invested in the outcome of the changes we are undertaking — not just in getting things done, or making the maximum profit.   We can have more people, more business, and retain what makes our city and our neighborhoods livable and vibrant.  But we all need to work together and invest in the quality of that outcome.

Although it’s not Seattle’s most expensive zip code or neighborhood (Downtown and Medina are leading there), Madison Park is one of our city’s priciest areas to live in. Many of the homes in the neighborhood are far beyond the budgets of middle class families, but it is possible to find an affordable home in Madison Park.

In fact, Seattle Curbed recently shared a handful of properties that are relatively affordable (around $1 million), considering their location…

For a waterfront, park view, you can get a three-bedroom, two-bath 1967 condo for $1,050,000. The views are 180-degrees – something to see from every room! The kitchen was recently remodeled, and there’s a wonderful wrap-around deck.

For $1,250,000, you can acquire a lovely Mid-Century house with five bedrooms and four bathrooms. At 3,070 square feet, there’s lots of space! The fifth bedroom is located on the lower level with its own living space, so you can use it as a Mother-In-Law apartment or rent it out for additional income. And the home even has a two-car garage attached (rare in Seattle).

Let’s end with the low-price highlight… A beautiful two-bedroom, 1.5 bath Madison Park condo is listed at $399,999. And it’s only two blocks from the beachfront at Madison Park. It’s a two-story unit with an open kitchen and living space, skylight and newer appliances.